He steps out of the Banquet Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites and heads towards the car park to hitch a ride with one of his friends. He remembers the first time he had attended an event here. He had been so excited and had taken so many selfies which he had quickly uploaded to his Facebook page. It is almost impossible to believe that he has come this far in the last two years, all because of Twitter and of course his mother.
He says a quick prayer for his mother. The only person that really matters. He remembers the day over two years ago when after graduation he had gone to his mother for prayers. She had taken him to see one Baba. That had been the beginning of good things for him.
He had watched young people like him gain relevance through social media. They didn’t have anything he didn’t, except maybe his body odour. He had promised himself that he will make it to the top right after the resident Twitter Troll had told him that he would never really amount to anything. He raises his hand quickly to smell under his armpit. He had used two different brands of roll-ons and half a bottle of perfume cos he couldn’t bother himself with a bath tonight. Anyway, he was doing well for himself and if all those Twitter chicks who had got down on their knees and sucked his dick weren’t complaining, no one should. His biggest problem now is making money. Plenty of it.
He has been with Victor for about two years now, doing his bidding and trying to grow in the ranks of the Social League but no matter how hard he tries he seems to be running around in circles. He had noticed the past few weeks that Victor and the other three no longer contributed to their WhatsApp group conversations and even when he DMs Victor these days he does not even respond. Maybe he has heard about his plans. He and two other lower cadre Social Leaguers were offering someone in the Presidency a deal and they are going to demonstrate it tonight.
He sends Victor another DM. He knows Victor won’t respond but he had to keep playing the fool until the thing with the Presidency works out. It had to work out. His mother had made another visit to the Baba and he had said it would work.
He arrives at the car park and sits on the bonnet of the car. He has come far from the days of his first phone. It was a Nokia E5 which his mother had bought for him in his final year at the university. He had wanted to skip university because he felt his mother shouldn’t be paying fees with the little she makes from her fresh fish business, but she had insistent. All he wanted was to be a politician and make big money without having to really work for it. And finally his time is almost here.
He taps on the Twitter icon and his TL scrolls out before him. He checks his @s. He had various people asking him to retweet one thing or the other, mostly articles. He wonders when they will realise he is not on Twitter to do their bidding. His eye rests on a tweet someone has tagged him on. That idiotic troll was at it again. He should not allow the fool get to him but he can’t seem to help himself. He sees Victor’s tweet is already riling some people. In those days he would have automatically retweeted the tweet but these days he is careful about making enemies. Until he gets this job there is no need to make unnecessary enemies. Someone in the Presidency had told him that Victor and his friends were growing too big for their shoes and demanding seven figure pay for services. He was willing to start with five or six figures. But he had to get them the same numbers. He had recruited 10 others, their combined followership was just about 100k but he was selling their ability to trend things faster and reach the grassroots Twitter who were more gullible than Victor’s elite. Grassroots Twitter would RT without arguing and quickly spread the message to Facebook without their having to pay extra for that.
His phone rings and he picks it at the second ring. One of his clients was at the other end. She needed social media push for one of her products but couldn’t afford the big four. He was willing to take the job and pass it to one of the lesser foot soldiers. He would help retweet and Victor would never know he got the deal. In the past, he would have refused to the deal with this client but not anymore… every man for himself.
He scans the area after the call. Where was this friend of his? He had left a girl in the hotel where they were lodged. One of the younger ones with just a few hundred followers. They were the best to get into “hit and run” relationships with. Them and those funny feminists. He laughs as he remembers a one night stand he had with one of the Twitter feminists. As it turns out, she wanted the relationship to continue but he couldn’t stand her. She wasn’t even half as pretty as she looked in her avi. He had dumped her after she paid for all their food, drinks and even hotel and she couldn’t even rant about it, because Feminist.
Finally, his friend was here.
“Nothing. Just reminiscing”
“Toh. Can we go now? ”
“Before. No be you I dey wait for?”
His friend unlocks the car and they get in. He drops his iPhone on the dashboard.
“Ogbeni, e be like say you wan’ use your phone do sara this night.”
He quickly picks the phone up and puts it in his front pocket.
His friend turns on the car ac and rearranges the air refreshener.
“Wetin dey happen for Twitter, ” he asks as he starts the car.
“Victor tweet something about Ekitigate…distraction.”
His friend nods in understanding as he weaves the car into the night’s traffic.
“Sebi na this night we go show those Presido people wetin we fit do?”
He nods, getting worried. He really wishes Victor had not chosen this night to tweet his distraction.